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Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong Hardcover – Dec 2 2009


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt; 4th Edition edition (Dec 2 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0151010897
  • ISBN-13: 978-0151010899
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 16.1 x 3.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 658 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #397,019 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Ultimately, Teachout's fine biography shows how much of Armstrong's love of music--and people--was behind that signature million-watt smile." -- Booklist "Teachout's portrait reminds us why we fell in love with Armstrong's music in the first place." --Publishers Weekly "A comprehensive, affectionate biography of arguably the single most important figure in the history of jazz...A rewarding jazz biography and a revealing look at a broad swath of American cultural history." --Kirkus Reviews "Best of all, it smartly--and simply--finds unity in contradiction." --Atlantic Monthly "Teachout delivers a taut and well-paced work that is astute in its critical judgments and gripping in its chronicle of the trumpeter's life and times." --The Weekly Standard

"...terrific biography..." --The Sunday Times (UK)

"With 'Pops,' his eloquent and important new biography of Armstrong, the critic and cultural historian Terry Teachout restores this jazzman to his deserved place in the pantheon of American artists..." --The New York Times"With prodigious research and a good deal of stylistic grace, the cultural critic has produced a biography as definitive as it is incolclusive about the sources of Armstrong's artistic genius and contradictory personality." --The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"...the most comprehensive and pleasurable account yet of the trumpeter's complex life and personality. Teachout's vivid and accessible portrayal of Armstrong is one of the book's great pleasures: He will make a fan of the most skeptical reader." --Kansas City Star

"...compelling..." --The Los Angeles Times "Teachout adopts a sophisticated street-level style that mirrors what he loves best about the man known as Satchmo: Armstrong's ability (and willingness) to synthesize high and low culture for an audience as broad as his grin." --Time Out New York

"...a masterpiece." --Seattle Times

"Teachout excels at conveying the interplay between Armstrong the artist and Armstrong the entertainer, and at examining the particular challenge of his legacy." --The New Yorker

"Ultimately, Teachout's fine biography shows how much of Armstrong's love of music--and people--was behind that signature million-watt smile."

"Teachout's portrait reminds us why we fell in love with Armstrong's music in the first place."

"A comprehensive, affectionate biography of arguably the single most important figure in the history of jazz...A rewarding jazz biography and a revealing look at a broad swath of American cultural history."

About the Author

TERRY TEACHOUT is the drama critic of the Wall Street Journal and the chief culture critic of Commentary. He played jazz professionally before becoming a full-time writer. His books include All in the Dances: A Brief Life of George Balanchine, The Skeptic: A Life of H. L. Mencken, and A Terry Teachout Reader. He blogs about the arts at www.terryteachout.com.


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dave on Feb. 3 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The author writes eloquently, has done consummate research and presents a portrait of Louis with many refreshing new insights. I have every other biography, autobiography and scholarly publication about Louis, and this one by Terry Teachout must be included in the top five.

This is an even-handed portrayal, 100% fair and avoids lionizing. On top of it all, it is a heck of a good read; I read it in two sittings.
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Format: Hardcover
In Pops: A Life of Louis Armstrong, Wall Street journalist and author, Terry Teachout traces Mr. Armstrong's youthful journey through the winding streets of New Orleans at the turn of 20th century: from the jook joints and bordellos to a Christian boys home for wayward youth and a solitary, but beneficent Jewish home to the highest pinnacles of musical and artistic success. This was a biography that was done right.

*Why another biography?
**Two (2) historically unanswered questions about Louis Armstrong
***A brief review of Armstrong's Life
****Louis Armstrong vs. Miles Davis and Nat King Cole
*****Concluding Thoughts

*Before I read a biography, I typically find myself struggling internally like two wrestlers wanting the dominant position because biographies and, especially, autobiographies are rarely truthful or forthcoming. I generally ask myself, "Do I really want to know this person?" Or, "Will this person's life-experiences really provide me with constructive and, hopefully, universal information for my own use?"

The dilemma becomes a lot more complicated, if the person is well known and many things have already been written about her/him. What's new here that hasn't been written before considering Mr. Armstrong, himself, wrote three autobiographical volumes?

**With regards to Mr. Armstrong, there are two (2) questions that have never been answered to my satisfaction (but then, who am I to make such demands anyway?) but I'll still ask.

1. What is it about "Louie Armstrong," The Performer, which made him so beloved that even a Wall Street Journal writer would consider chronicling another chapter of his life, four decades since his passing?

2.
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By maurice gagnon on April 26 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm reading it
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By jjmartinelli on May 4 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
as advertised
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By Cathy E Barber on April 18 2015
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Fantastic
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